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Bicycling News Digest - August 8th, 2007

  • Alberto Contador was coming down with something at the finish of the Tour, and states that he "was no longer the strongest rider on the team." We also learned today that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has opened an investigation against Contador related to his alleged involvement with the Operation Puerto affair. This overturns the UCI's earlier decision to acquit Contador of any involvement in the case.
  • Floyd Landis will be riding in the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race this weekend. Lance was scheduled to appear, but at this point seems to have backed out. Floyd will have to settle for racing against Lance's coach, who had been training to compete against him at the race.
  • Another nail in the coffin for the Astana team: Craft, their apparel sponsor has cancelled their contract with the troubled team. This follows an announcement last week that their bicycle sponsor BMC dropped them. Vinokourov continues to claim innocence.
  • The up and coming Slipstream Sports/Chipotle team has added Magnus Backstedt to their squad. He joins David Millar, Dave Zabriskie, Christian Vandevelde, Julian Dean and Danny Pate in what is looking to be a very strong team. The Slipstream team is being built around a very strong anti-doping environment. They are hoping for wild-card invitations to the 2008 Paris-Roubaix and Tour de France with the eventual goal of securing a Pro Tour license in 2009.
  • German team T-Mobile heads into this weekend's Deustchland Tour unsure of continued sponsorship. There is a press conference scheduled for August 9th at which it is expected T-Mobile will announce whether they will keep supporting the team.

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Lance Breaks His Silence On The Landis Decision

When first asked a couple of weeks ago about the decision in the Floyd Landis case, Lance Armstrong basically implied that he didn't keep up with cycling anymore and that he didn't have time to look at it.

Now, in a new interview released yesterday, Armstrong blasts the decision of the arbitration panel and states that he feels that Landis would have been exonerated by a jury.

It's about time he spoke up. He may be focused on finding a cure for cancer, but he needs to recognize that for most Americans, he is the person that comes to mind when they think about professional cycling.

Specialized Rolls Out 2008 Products In Advance Of Interbike

Specialized has already rolled out much of their new products for 2008 in advance of Interbike. 

Saddles: Specialized found that, because of its comfort and light weight, many of their mountain bike riders were using the Toupe road saddle off road. They saw that they could use the same technology to make an MTB saddle that is as light and comfortable, but more durable and off road specific. The result is the new Phenom saddle.
They also are rolling out a new time trial/tri saddle called the Tri-Tip. This is very similar to the Toupe, but with a longer and wider, slighty more padded nose.
Tires: Specialized grew their tire team this year and worked with long time advisor Ned Overend on a new line of mountain bike tires. This year sees the introduction of the Control line, with S-Works, Captain, Armadillo and S-Carve models. The S-Works tire was designed to be lighter while increasing cut resistance. 
The Captain is an all around tire, while the Armadillo is focused on overall durability. 

First "Look" at Look 586 Road Frame

The new site (formerly gives a first look at Look's new 586 high modulus carbon road frame that will come out in 2008. 
It is 100g lighter than the frame it replaces. Like it's predecessor, it has an integrated seatpost, but this model includes elastomer blocks in the post that will help to soften the ride a little bit. 
The same article mentions the introduction of the Keo Grip cleat. Apparently this is the Keo cleat with some rubber grip pads to help keep your feet under you when walking. 
The new products can be seen at Look Cycle's web site.
As an aside, I see that the review was written by Gary Boulanger, of the late, great Cycles Gaansari.